Abbey Rader is back with another release, this one the debut of his West Coast Quartet. Featuring Drew Ceccato and Peter Kuhn on saxophones, as well as Kyle Motl on contrabass, Rader leads the group through four extended improvisations.
Calling this music free jazz is not a bad place to start. On Foreign Dust, Ceccato and Kuhn head in two different directions, while Motl and Rader lay down contra-rhythms. The group plays together for a few seconds at a time, then splits apart. The saxes in particular set the tone with squeaky and punctuated leads. In contrast, Inward Light is an introspective piece, reflecting Rader’s spirituality. Motl’s bass growls and drones, while the saxes are plaintive. Slowly, the tempo builds until Ceccato and Kuhn are making distinctive angular statements under a busy drum and bass structure. A short track, Enduring Mind, starts with a blow-out, then evolves into a slightly more melodic approach. Realization to Truth presents bass harmonics, bowed bass, and atmospheric sax playing. Rader focuses on bells and chimes.
With this compelling release, Rader has proven again that he has not slowed or mellowed over the last 45+ years. This may be the West Coast Quartet’s first gathering, but let’s hope there are further get-togethers soon.